Cisco cans 550 workers in massive consumer overhaul

Troubled networking kingpin Cisco has announced a radical overhaul of its struggling consumer business, which will seeit cut about 550 jobs and bin its Flip video camera lines. The move forms part of a strategy shake-up alluded to at the start of the month by CEO John Chambers who, in a candid memo

Troubled networking kingpin Cisco has announced a radical overhaul of its struggling consumer business, which will see it cut about 550 jobs and bin its Flip video camera lines.

The move forms part of a strategy shake-up alluded to at the start of the month by CEO John Chambers who, in a candid memo to Cisco staff, said the firm had disappointed the market.

The firm hopes to refocus its consumer business to bring it in line with five key strategic priorities, leadership in core routing, switching and services; collaboration; data centre virtualisation and cloud; architectures; and video.

Besides binning the video camera lines, which it acquired when it bought Pure Digital in 2009, Cisco said it would refocus its home networking (Linksys) business, connecting it to its core networking infrastructure and using it to support growth in home video capabilities.

It also plans to integrate its consumer 'umi' telepresence lines, launched with great fanfare late in 2010, into the Business TelePresence product line.

In a statement today, John Chambers said: "We are making key, targeted moves as we align operations in support of our network-centric platform strategy."

"Our consumer efforts will focus on how we help our enterprise and service provider customers optimise and expand their offerings for consumers, and help ensure the network's ability to deliver on those offerings."

The restructure is set to cost Cisco $300m over the next six months.

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